Monday 18 December 2017

Murtagh on Leger mission

Trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh will not make any decision on a possible Melbourne Cup tilt for Royal Diamond until after he has defended his crown in the Gain Irish St Leger.

The consistent seven-year-old was a surprise winner of the all-aged Group One a year ago when trained by Tommy Carmody, but is likely to be a leading contender this time around following his victory over the course and distance in last month's Leger Trial.

Royal Diamond was among the initial entries for the Melbourne Cup last week, but Murtagh is keen to take it one race at a time. Asked about a possible trip to Australia, he said: "His next race will decide that. He's all set for the Leger and he's very well. He came out of his last run really well. He's pretty versatile ground-wise, so we'll see what happens."

Among the opposition at the Curragh is set to be Royal Diamond's old adversary Ernest Hemingway.

Sunday Independent

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